A father and son have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of 10 years, following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
Roland Witton, 63, and Daniel Witton, 38, of stockbroker Direct Sharedeal Limited, were disqualified after clients lost nearly £2m.
Clive Tranter, head of company investigations North East and Edinburgh, said: “In this case the directors failed to ensure that Direct Sharedeal Limited complied with the legislation and industry regulations which existed to protect the interests of the company’s clients.
“As a result of that inaction, third-party client investors have suffered significant losses. The Insolvency Service will use the disqualification legislation to protect the public from such failures.”
Roland Witton became a director of the company in November 2005, whilst Daniel Witton became a director in May 2008. They were disqualified for three years and seven years respectively.
Direct Sharedeal Limited, a stockbroker authorised by the Financial Services Authority, went into administration on 12 April 2011, owing nearly £12m to clients.
In February 2010 the FSA fined Direct Sharedeal £101,500 for breaching FSA principles in the way it was organised and controlled, with particular reference to its regard for and the fair treatment of the interests of customers, and the protection of client assets.
Following the fine, the company did not comply with FSA Client Asset Rules and failed to put client money in a separate bank account or to ensure sufficient client’s funds were retained to meet obligations to the clients.
On 29 March 2012, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), run by the FSA declared DSL to be in default of its obligations to its clients, and by 17 December 2012 had made over £2m in compensation to claimants.